Red Rock West - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Red Rock West Reviews

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April 26, 2016
Film noir classic in this modern day tale of a drifter who is mistaken for a hitman. Beautifully directed, dark and memorable performances make this sleeper into a cult status classic.
½ April 17, 2016
Good film about a man trapped in one small city.
March 29, 2016
Such a great movie. Can't believe I'd never heard of it.
January 24, 2016
Fantastic noir film by the great but undervalued John Dahl. Nicolas Cage should take a pay cut and resurrect his career with gems like this. This was brilliant from beginning to end and Dennis Hopper works very well in the typical bad guy role here. Underrated film, do yourself a favour and hunt this one down, I paid $2 and it is worth so much more.
½ January 18, 2016
Un an avant son excellente Last Seduction, John Dahl s'était déjà attaqué au film noir avec Red Rock West, un film d'une ironie dévastatrice (et parfois trop présente comparée à sa cadette) porté par un exceptionnel Nicolas Cage, qui n'a jamais été aussi bon que lorsqu'il joue les types patibulaires. Dennis Hopper est survolté, J.T. Walsh et Timothy Carhart détestables à souhait et Lara Flynn Boyle bien trop absente. C'est d'autant plus dommage que la seconde partie du film se centre sur une sombre histoire d'arnaque dont on n'a pas réellement besoin. A l'image de quelques films noirs bien connus, Red Rock West fonctionne sur son ambiance, beaucoup moins sur son scénario. Mais, ne durant qu'1h40, le film de John Dahl reste un bon divertissement.
October 10, 2015
Tree stars just for Dennis Hopper
April 27, 2015
At times I felt it was unrealistic, but it turned out to be a little smarter than the average bear and there was sort of a reason behind it. A very solid 8/10 kinda movie though.
½ April 21, 2015
It's hard to say whether this movie is good or not because I fell asleep just shortly after Bozo man meets clown face's wife.
½ April 8, 2015
Little known but very well made mystery that grabs you and doesn't let go till the end.....what a pleasant ride.
March 3, 2015
defo worth a viewing not sure about nicolas cages character being so honest maybe would of been better if he acted a little more simple not too simple but a simple and honest guy.
February 4, 2015
Small towns in the middle of nowhere are made for the movies. To onlookers, a city like Red Rock would be a quaint checkpoint under the umbrella of a long-winded road trip, perfect for a pit stop and a quick bite to eat. Stay there too long, though, and you'll find yourself desperate for entertainment, money, love, and more. Maybe that's why the characters in "Red Rock West" are so cold-blooded.
When the film was first introduced to audiences during the Toronto Film Festival in 1993, it was immediately well-received, a neo-noir praised for its uncommon quality. Distributors weren't as smitten. When its domestic rights were sold to Columbia Tri-Star, a theatrical release was out of the question. "The film doesn't fall neatly into any marketable category. A western film noir isn't something people can immediately spark to," the head of the marketing department of Polygram declared. So it was disregarded, branded as a cable and direct-to-video product. It was shown on HBO seven times in the fall, but the small-screen, after all, is certainly not a distinguished place for a movie to be shown, especially one that should be taken seriously.
But just as things could not have gotten any worse, they suddenly became better: When Bill Banning, the owner of San Francisco's famous Roxie Cinema, saw "Red Rock West" for the first time, he disagreed with the distribution it was receiving. Surely, the film had an audience. And after a year of trying to secure the rights, his faith in the film paid off; it became such a box-office smash at the Roxie that it eventually was given a proper limited release, becoming an art-house favorite within a few weeks.
Normally, I wouldn't go so deeply into the backstory of a film that came out more than 20 years ago, but as of 2015, "Red Rock West" still feels like a classic waiting in the wings, desperately wanting to be discovered by another Banning. Even after all the ruckus it made throughout 1993-1994, it remains a hidden gem, deserving to sit on the same golden throne that "Blood Simple" currently lounges on.
A drifter in the same caliber as John Garfield in "The Postman Always Rings Twice," Michael Williams (Nicolas Cage) finds himself in the city of Red Rock after failing to acquire a promising oilfield job. When he stops by a local bar to wash away his sorrows, he is confronted by the owner, Wayne Brown (J.T. Walsh), who mistakes him for a hitman he hired to kill his wife, Suzanne (Lara Flynn Boyle). Michael is young and stupid, so when Wayne offers him an eye-grabbing stack of cash, he fails to correct him that he's actually Michael Williams from the Navy, not Lyle from Dallas.
Being the nice guy that he is, he breaks into the Brown home, hoping to warn Suzanne that she's in grave danger. But when the real hitman (Dennis Hopper) shows up, Michael finds himself tangled in a net of lust and sin that can only end badly. And it surely doesn't help when he becomes romantically involved with Suzanne.
In the ashen throes of the film noir genre, there is almost always a recurring feeling of déjà vu; once you've seen a disciple with a drifter, a femme fatale, and a shady husband mixing it up, you've probably seen them all. Film noir has hardly changed since its peak years (the '40s and '50s), yet it has maintained a startling freshness in the same way comic books have. You may have experienced every storyline possible, but the way those storylines are told, with hard-bitten cynicism and dark alleyway peril, have infinite allure.
"Red Rock West" is a consistent delicacy, a greatest hits album of film noir adventures. Look at the way a cigarette dangles on Lara Flynn Boyle's kissable lips. Look at the way Dennis Hopper handles his gun, like a detective flying off-the-rails of his sanity. John Dahl is a director who knows his movies - after only a few minutes into the film do you get the sense that "Murder, My Sweet" and "Raw Deal" are not just B-movies to him, but cookbooks, its recipes lingering in the cinematography and the writing.
"Red Rock West" isn't without its issues: Music plays when a scene should be strictly silent, destroying any tension waiting to be had, and it would have been interesting if the film had explored Michael and Suzanne's relationship as thickly as Walter Neff and Phyllis Dietrichson's. But two minor flaws can hardly deter the success of a film as striking as "Red Rock West." Ignoring the disconcerting violence that plagued the majority of '90s independent neo-noirs, the film is deliciously old-fashioned and deliciously stylish.
December 13, 2014
Still one of my favorites.
November 25, 2014
More happens in the first 5 minutes of this movie than in most entire movies! Great fun. This is my nomination for "Best Movie You Have Never Heard Of".
½ October 10, 2014
"Watch Red Rock West, you'll love it Stu" they said.
It's one of the most underrated films of the 90s Stu" they said.
Bloody rubbish.
June 10, 2014
Noir at its best. Great performances all around. Remember when Nic Cage was this good? Remember JT Walsh? Wow!
June 9, 2014
I feel like I'm trapped in a 'Cage'. This disgusting film is a mark on cinematography. What was suppose to be a Western flick, was spoiled by mediocre acting and a boring plot.
½ February 19, 2014
Intriguing crime-drama. Set-up is great. Plot development is good - suspense is maintained throughout. Plot is interesting, but not watertight - some things just don't gel. Dialogue is a bit cliched at times. Ending also feels a bit unrealistic.

This all said, quite entertaining and always intriguing.

Good performance from Nicholas Cage in the lead role. Lara Flynn Boyle puts in a solid performance as the femme fatale. Dennis Hopper overdoes the theatrics though.

Supporting cast are OK. Best of the bunch would be Timothy Carhart as the lead Deputy Sheriff.
½ December 28, 2013
Twists. Twists every where!
Extremely well written movie... and extremely underrated.
½ December 7, 2013
One of Nicolas Cage's finest films. This thriller might be highly predictable, but it's neo-noir setting and the chemistry of the cast makes it work almost to perfection, even if you can guess everything that's about to happen.
½ November 20, 2013
Fantastic, underrated film noir with a great cast, a great look, and crackerjack storytelling.
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